Getting Technical: A Review of Growth Hacker Marketing

If you’re struggling with exactly why you should improve your technical chops as a marketer, then this book is for you.

Coming from a traditional marketing background himself, Ryan Holiday tells his story of how one day he realized the tides of marketing were changing. Engineers by discipline, so called growth hackers were behind the growth of now billion dollar companies such as Facebook, Twitter, AirBnb, and DropBoxall without using any of the classic marketing methods he’d been using for years.

This book is Ryan’s case for a new marketing mindset. While this book doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of what technical tools modern marketers should be using, that’s not the point.

As Ryan says, growth hackers may not share the same methods, but “…for all the technical differences, the strategic goal was the same: to reach people in an effective, scalable, and data-driven way.”


Ditch the old mindset

  • Stop thinking there has to be a big launch, major media coverage, and a huge advertising budget.
  • Gambling on these methods is no longer necessary; the tools we have available to us today (if we know what they are and how to use them) allow us to track, test, iterate, and improve how we attract and retain customers.

Make stuff people want

  • The worst possible marketing decision you can make is simple: starting with a product nobody wants or needs.
  • The best marketing decision you can make is to achieve Product Market Fit: having a product/business that fulfills a need for a well defined group of people. Do this no matter how much tweaking and refining it takes, and back it up with data.

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Words to live by

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”

Abraham Maslow

At the beginning of this year, I made a quote book. Whenever I heard or read anything that struck me like a frying pan to the face, I wrote it down. I’ve got quite the collection now (and I hope to share more later on) but this one really energized me.

The man who literally wrote the book on human needs is telling us: don’t settle. Reach your full potential, not because that sounds cool, but because you need to like you need water.

No water will kill your body, no passion will kill your brain.

And fear isn’t an excuse:

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”

Abraham Maslow

Enter this blog.

I love writing and I’ve been wanting to blog for a long time, but I keep getting comfortable. It’s time for me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself.

A poet’s gotta write.

Note: A big thanks to Justin Mares for the post that inspired this (and a dope SQL course).

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